Darlene Carlson of rural Lincolnville is sponsoring a seed- share meeting 1 to 5 p.m. Nov. 13 at the Lincolnville Community Center.
The 66-year-old woman is a prolific gardener, producing a wide variety of fruits, vegetables, and flowers. She sells produce, flowers, homemade jams and jellies, ornamental and herb plants, and other items at Hillsboro Farmers’ Market every year. She also has a greenhouse business and sells bedding plants grown from seed every spring.
Carlson has been saving seed from her own garden for 15 years. She is familiar with seed exchanges or seed sharing that goes on across the country and decided to start an event in this area.
The first seed-sharing meeting was last year. Carlson said the turnout was small, but more than 40 kinds of seed were shared.
Carlson encourages participants to bring flower, herb, or vegetable seed that they have saved for several years and that has always done well in this area. They also may bring seed from other, less common plants. The seeds should be dried, stored in a jar, and labeled.
Live plants or plant cuttings will not be accepted for exchange because they may contaminate the seeds with insects or diseases.
Carlson invites people to attend whether or not they have seed to share. They are asked to bring envelopes, pens, and tape to take seeds home.
“This is a chance for gardeners to get seed that works in this area,” Carlson said. “They won’t have to worry about buying commercially-grown, genetically-engineered seed. They will know what they are getting.”
For people not familiar with saving seed, speaker Dianna Henry will tell them how to do it. She will talk at 1:30 p.m.
Henry is an organic gardener who began saving seed in the 1980s when she discovered 400-year-old pumpkin and corn seed remains in an archeological dig near Lyons.
She now grows and teaches others about growing the many varieties of local, open-pollinated food seeds.
Participants may bring snacks of foods that they have grown and canned, dried, or cooked to share with the group.
Attendees will be asked to make a donation to help pay for the building rent and speaker’s mileage.